Wonton wrappers are the secret ingredient on this one. Pasta pillows that have the flavor and texture of homemade from-scratch ravioli. The ricotta filling is packed with flavor, thanks to the basil and lemon zest. You really should try this at home.
First things first. Get the delicious basil & ricotta filling prepared. When I make these ravioli, I always try to use fresh ricotta cheese. It has the best flavor and texture.
If you don’t have the fresh version available, you can use the packaged cheese. Just check it out to be sure it’s not too moist. If it is, let the ricotta sit in a fine-mesh strainer (or a cheesecloth-lined strainer) over a larger bowl for about 30 minutes. Periodically press down on the cheese to release as much liquid as possible. Take a look here for detailed instructions on the process.
This recipe yields a total of 16 ravioli. Depending on whether you plan to serve them as an entree or as an appetizer, you’ll have 4 to 8 servings. Feel free to double or triple the recipe, if need be. The important consideration is to keep the wonton wrappers moist as you work.
At the most, work with 8 wrappers at a time while you keep the remaining squares covered with a damp paper towel. If the wrappers happen to become dry, they tend to crack and won’t seal properly.
After a brief stint in boiling water, remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon and transfer to a tray and set aside.
The final step is to prepare the spinach. It’s a quick process since you want to give it just enough time to wilt.
When ready to serve, divide the spinach among four plates then top each off with four ravioli. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil along with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, torn fresh basil and freshly ground black pepper.
If serving as an appetizer, arrange on a large serving platter. Garnish with fresh lemon slices, if desired.
basil & ricotta ravioli
Based on a recipe from Cooking Light
Wonton wrappers are the secret to these seemingly from-scratch pasta pillows.
- 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated & divided (about 1 ounce)
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 16 square wonton wrappers, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 8 cups baby spinach (about 10 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine ricotta, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of the torn basil, lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl.
Arrange 8 of the wonton wrappers on a work surface (cover remaining wrappers to prevent drying). Moisten edge of the wrappers with the beaten egg. Place 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture in the center of each wrapper. Fold each wrapper in half forming a triangle, pressing well to seal the edges. Cover with a damp towel to prevent drying. Repeat the procedure with the remaining wonton wrappers, beaten egg, and ricotta mixture.
Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Carefully add the prepared ravioli to the pan; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium; add sliced garlic, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the baby spinach and stir in the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Cook just until the spinach is wilted. Stir in the lemon juice.
Divide the spinach mixture among 4 plates; top evenly with the ravioli, remaining 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons of torn basil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil.